Prelims Level
Mains Level
Prelims Syllabus : Governance- Policies, Schemes Mains Syllabus : GS-II- Government Policies And Interventions for Development in various Sectors and Issues Arising out of their Design and Implementation.

Context:

  • Amendments to District Mineral Foundation (DMF) Trust Rules, 2015, by Chhattisgarh government

Background:

  • Chhattisgarh, which has more than Rs 4,200 crore in DMF Trust, became the first state in July 2019, to amend DMF rules.

What is District Mineral Foundation?

  • District Mineral Foundation (DMF) is a trust set up as a non-profit body, in those districts affected by the mining works, to work for the interest and benefit of persons and areas affected by mining related operations. It is funded through the contributions from miners.
  • Setting up of District Mineral Foundations (DMFs) in all districts in the country affected by mining related operations was mandated through the Mines and Minerals (Development & Regulation) Amendment Act, (MMDRA) 2015

What Changes will it make?

  • The new rule mandates the inclusion of 10 Gram Sabha members directly from mining-affected areas in the DMF Governing Council (GC).
  • In Scheduled Areas, at least 50 per cent of the Gram Sabha members must be from Scheduled Tribes (ST).
  • It will also strengthen women’s voices in the GC by mandating that from each Gram Sabha, there will be one male and one female member in the GC.
  • The amendments create a huge scope for mining districts in the state to improve the lives and livelihoods of those affected by mining,”
  • The DMF had been envisaged to build ‘social capital’, thus it must not be wasted on just building physical infrastructure, for which there are other funds.
  • A 20 per cent cap has been put on the use of DMF funds for big physical infrastructure projects such as roads, bridges, railways, industrial parks etc.
  • The rules mandate spending of at least 50 per cent of the funds on directly-affected areas to ensure worst-hit areas and people are prioritised.
  • This is in addition to 60 per cent to be used on high-priority issues such as drinking water, livelihoods, healthcare, women and child development, education, etc.
    • This will not only stop misuse of the funds on big projects such as roads, bridges, industrial parks etc, but will also create more scope to improve investment on soft resources.
  • To improve DMF’s efficiency in operations and fund use, the amendments have also asked districts to identify mining-affected people and delineate mining-affected areas.
  • To ensure better public accountability, a two-step social audit process has been mandated. Provisions have also been introduced for five-year plan, which can be subjected to a third-party review if the secretary of the mines department considers it to be necessary.

Government Intervention:

Pradhan Mantri Khanij Kshetra Kalyan Yojana (PMKKKY):

  • This programme meant to provide for the welfare of areas and people affected by mining related operations. The most productive mining areas in the country are largely areas inhabited by scheduled tribes. They also are mainly located in the areas covered by the Fifth Schedule of the Constitution. The PMKKKY is, therefore, very sharply focused on safeguarding the health, environment and economic conditions of the tribals and providing them with opportunities to benefit from the vast mineral resources that are extracted from the areas where they live.
  • The overall objective of PMKKKY scheme include:
    1. To implement various developmental and welfare projects/programs in mining affected areas, and these projects/ programs will be complementing the existing ongoing schemes/projects of State and Central Government;
    2. To minimize/mitigate the adverse impacts, during and after mining, on the environment, health and socio-economics of people in mining districts;
    3. And to ensure long-term sustainable livelihoods for the affected people in mining areas.

 

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